2018 Book Review

Book Review: Reservoir 13 by John McGregor

2.5 ⭐️ ‘s from me.

Goodreads Summary: “Midwinter in an English village. A teenage girl has gone missing. Everyone is called upon to join the search. The villagers fan out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on what is usually a place of peace. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. As the seasons unfold and the search for the missing girl goes on, there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together and those who break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, RESERVOIR 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a tragedy refuse to subside.”34146665

My Review:

Annoyed. That was how I felt after finishing this novel. If you are someone who likes a clear storyline and, more specifically, a conclusion (like myself), this is NOT the book for you.

However, I can see how this would appeal to some – the different structure, different style and commentary on everyday village life. The novel follows a small English village and the ramifications of one girl’s disappearance over the years. A perfect demonstration of how one event can change the path of so many lives. The writing style takes a bit to get used to. The repetitive descriptions taunt you with the mystery of the girl’s disappearance – particularly the last outfit she was seen in. Its unique rhythm becomes almost natural as you progress through the book – just as living with mystery becomes natural to the villagers.

I found the characters unmemorable – often struggling to keep all the villagers separate. The book seems to be more of an anthropological study, or commentary on a tragic event. Not for me, but if you give it a try let me know!

 

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